ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Arsenal manager Arteta given massive boost in the transfer window

Arsenal

While we’ve discussed the possibility that Arsenal won’t be signing anyone in this transfer window, it appears that reinforcements, like Gandalf, will be coming on the first light of the fifth day.

Thomas Partey, who hasn’t played a minute of competitive football since mid-October, looks set to return from his injury and surgery by the end of January. If true, he’d be the proverbial if not prodigal new signing, giving us a massive boost at a crucial time.

Partey picked up a knock back in September and was being eased back into the squad

When the injury worsened during training after a couple of international trainings. Fast-forward to now.

Arsenal want to boost their bench

And the silver lining is that he’s skipped Ghana’s involvement in AFCON and could be ready for a short cameo against Nottingham Forest on 30 January,

ahead of a far-more vital clash at home to Liverpool (what? again, already? FFS).

Let’s just hope that Partey is back to 100% fitness and not something more like 85% or even 95%.

It would be altogether Arsenal-esque for him to come back too soon and aggravate the injury during some innocuous exchange.

On a brighter note, we might indulge in a bit of optimistic speculation as to what it might mean for Partey to be available.

The first thought that springs to mind is what it might look like to see Partey and Rice together in a double pivot,

Getting back to the glory days of a 4-2-3-1 with Ødegaard pulling strings, not just for Saka and Jesus from the right,

But for Martinelli from the left. Rice and Partey could take turns getting forward or shielding the back four,

Each of their line-splitting progressive passes springing Saka or Jesus or Martinelli free into space behind stretched back-lines.

That they could do this while shielding our back four against more-aggressive types like Liverpool, Man City, or Tottenham should induce a bit of drooling.

I’ll pause to allow you to ever so primly dab your napkin to your lips.

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